- The Washington Times - Monday, April 29, 2019

The iconic Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has a new first: a Muslim model wearing a hijab and burkini.

The magazine’s official swimsuit Twitter account posted the news on Monday, which featured Somali-American model Halima Aden.

“Halima Aden makes history as the first model to wear a hijab and burkini for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit,” the tweet said.

“We believe beauty knows no boundaries,” said SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day said for an article on the milestone. “I admire Halima, and I consider her an inspirational human for what she has decided to use her platform for and her work with Unicef as an ambassador.”

Ms. Aden, who grew up in Kenya at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, said she feels like she’s coming full circle.

She was also the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant at 19 years old.

“I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,” Ms. Halima told said. “So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya–I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.”

The 2019 issue will be on sale  May 8.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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